The Trail

Your adventure Starts nearby.


The North Country Trail (NCT) connects America’s red plaid nation, wandering 4600 miles through America’s rugged northern heartlands. Stretching across seven states, this longest National Scenic Trail is brought to local communities through the dedication and hard work of volunteers. From New York to North Dakota, North Country Trail hikers can find adventure right nearby.
While only a few have attempted to thru-hike the whole trail in one shot, thousands find their way onto a section of the NCT each year. Spring, summer, fall or winter, the trail offers something for everyone. Winter camping and snowshoeing, long-distance trail running, a saunter through quiet spring meadows or vineyards, crossing salmon-filled rivers, a weekend with the grandkids…. you can find what you’re looking for on the North Country Trail, and right nearby! This trail can be rugged and welcoming, remote and festive. You get to choose your own adventure !

In fact, the NCT is within a day’s drive of 40% of America’s population, and folks who live near Fargo, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Albany can be hiking on the Trail within a couple hours.

Some quick facts about the North Country Trail:

  • Longest National Scenic Trail in the United States (4600 miles when complete)
  • Administered by the National Park Service
  • Passes through 12 National Forests
  • Created by Congress in 1980; already has more trail completed than the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is long.
  • In 2010, volunteers contributed almost 70,000 hours toward building and maintaining the Trail and telling its story, a 14% increase over 2009, valued at $1.5million dollars!

Let this Web site be your portal to the great adventure awaiting you. We’ve broken the trail down state-by-state for you, so you can begin to imagine where you might spend spring break, summer vacation or that next long weekend. For the uninitiated, the options can be a little overwhelming, but don’t sweat it (save that for the trail). You’ve got a wealth of resources at your disposal to help you plan your next trip. Look through the site, and if you have any questions, send us an email or give us a call. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to go or what to bring, we’re here to help.

Built by volunteers…

The 1980 Congressional authorization of the North Country National Scenic Trail prompted the founding of the North Country Trail Association in 1981 as the volunteer organization providing the major partnership with the National Park Service in building the trail and telling its story. It is an enormous task—locating the trail, putting in on the ground, keeping it maintained and encouraging the use of it. Decades and many hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours later, that’s exactly what our volunteers are accomplishing, one mile and one step at a time. The North Country Trail stands as an example of what a strong private-public partnership and a dedicated citizen volunteer effort can accomplish, leaving a legacy for generations to come.

Updated – 3/9/2011 – Problems with this page?  Contact: bmatthews@northcountrytrail.org

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

dawn January 7, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Hello,
I’m planning on walking the NCT thru the U.P. Can anyone give me advice on sending myself “care packages” to different post offices along the way. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

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brandon January 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Is camping allowed on the trail in Pennsylvania, or do you have to lodge off trail? Thank you

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